Security Measures to Prevent Domestic Violence (DV) in the Organization
Written by Robert D. Sollars
This is a continuation of the blog I started last week, and I’m sure that you’ve been chomping at the bit to get the last of these crucial security measures. Hopefully, no one has been victimized before now:
I will reiterate here, I will assist any organization to protect employees/students who are the victims. Simply contact me and I’ll do my damndest to help: www.sollarsviolenceprevention.com, email@example.com, or
- Can you provide a certain amount of compassionate, paid, leave? Can you give the employee time off to take care of legal issues, court dates, children, and so on? It may take some jiggling of your companies scheduling & financial resources to do this but it is worth it. You can’t jettison an employee because they are having DV issues or as a result of DV. Going along with this is not counting their absences against them during this troubling & horrifying time, which according to policy could get them fired.
An example of this is from the early 90s; an employee took leave to care for his young son who was dying of leukemia. When he returned to work, he was disciplined for having let his job performance suffer because of his son’s illness and then burying his 6-year-old. He shot and killed several managers, union reps, & supervisors in the termination meeting a week later. Disciplining them for taking off excessive time can lead to a greater issue in the moral of the story.
- Ease of transferring employees to different shifts or locations to avoid the abuser if they are stalking them. If your policies state it to a different shift or location, then the process needs to be simplified for everyone concerned…because the victim may not have a day or two to wait. You really don’t want the abuser to know exactly when the employee is there, do you? That makes it dangerous, and potentially fatal, for everyone inside the organization and ancillary stores/offices. Even if there aren’t enough hours at the other location or shift, then continuing to pay them as if they were working the entire shift or at the other location…goes a long way in reducing their stress.
If you are worried that the abuser will come in and begin randomly killing people to find their ‘property’ you probably shouldn’t. Most WPV incidents are targeted and not random. Small comfort I understand but with the thought process.
- Extra security in parking lots& entrances. It may be financially difficult and unwieldy, not to mention cumbersome for other employees, but some sort of extra measures must be taken, without being intrusive and obvious, as it can possibly be, to provide everything possible to make them feel safe. This will cost money, but comparing spending several thousand dollars, in extra security costs, to saving the life of an employee and showing you care, is what the commercial says, priceless.
- Recording of phone calls on the company phone or instructions on their cell. The employee needs to be able to have these recordings to take to court and show some measure of abuse or threatening behavior to obtain restraining orders and protect themselves and their children. It may not be of any help, depending on the backgrounds, but is it worth it?
- Surveillance of the employee, escorted or not, to and from their vehicle/parking area. Hopefully, you have high-resolution video surveillance of your parking areas. This will ensure that the employee will not be accosted by the abuser on their way to or from their vehicle. If they are, hopefully, the high resolution will show the journalistic who, what, when, where, why, & how of the perpetrator. This is also where being escorted by a security officer or supervisor is helpful, so there is someone there to prevent an assault.
- Privacy and details of the abuse. This must be limited to a need-to-know basis. Security, HR, immediate supervisor, and other such people. If the employee wishes to tell others, then they should be the one to do it, no one else, literally, no one else should know. This should also mean that the security staff, other than the manager or supervisor, doesn’t necessarily need to know all of the details, just increased vigilance for a potential incident.
- Giving safety and security tips for their home and personal security. This could even go as far as aiding in getting an alarm system installed and paying for the monitoring during this difficult time. Additional tips and ideas should be given to the employee by the security manager, consultant, shelter, or police department. As a security professional or HR person, you need to refer them to those places.
While it sounds like you can just hand off these tasks to someone else to handle…you can’t. Not even a security contractor or underling outside of security. How do you know that the situation was rectified and taken care of if you don’t do it? Especially with paying for the installation and monitoring of an alarm system in their home. Remember, your company has a vested interest in keeping them safe, the others can be short-sighted or short-funded and not be able to give their full attention to the issue immediately.
The basic premise is that it comes down to the company assisting in any way it possibly can. Shame, embarrassment, and humiliation may force some victims to shy away from even asking for help. Your supervisors need to be trained in how and what to look for. Even if the employee says nothing is wrong… that’s not a good enough answer if injuries are consistently seen.
I have talked for several years in my postings that you need to throw out the sacred cows, and conventional wisdom, and do what is right not just what is necessary to satisfy the legal requirement. You should push the limits of what is and isn’t legal to protect the employee, like this quote “One finds limits by pushing them.” By Herbert Simon.
Additionally, everything you do to assist them, by necessity, needs to be documented in a file. This will be for any proceedings where you are accused of not doing enough.
Is it possible you will get into trouble and be disciplined for bending the policies and rules to assist? Yes. But there is no better way to build trust within the organization and the employees like doing whatever is necessary to protect just one of them who is in this situation. Going along with this is the idea of…if you are told to stop doing things for them and they are injured or killed because of something you didn’t do, because of the company or legal restrictions, and you didn’t do it…HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FEEL about it?
Are there other ideas you can utilize to assist a victim who works for your company? Undoubtedly there are. What they are depends on your own policies, procedures, jurisdictional restrictions, and own innovative ideas as to what you will do. But remember if you don’t have the trust and the confidence of employees, then DV, or any kind of violence, could seriously cause fatalities within the organization because they won’t come to you with the warning signs and ignore them instead.
This post is longer than normal, and I’ve given you the benefit of my knowledge, expertise, and experience in combatting this insidious crime. If you wish more instruction or advice, please contact me at;
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